Sociological meaning of Sox vs. Cubs

Mark Pietrowski

Chicago has its own version of the Civil War every baseball season as the south side “good guys in black” and the north side “losers deemed lovable” struggle to make the playoffs and satisfy their rabid fan bases.

Editor’s Note: The White Sox don’t actually have a rabid fan base if you listen to my reporter who bleeds blue. However, I am a White Sox fan who controls the content of this section, so eat it.

Both teams have been waiting a long time to hold up a championship trophy. The White Sox haven’t tasted the sweet nectar of championship juices since 1917, while the Cubs haven’t wolfed down a championship cheeseburger since 1908.

Still, even with shared thirst and hunger, the two sides seem to never get along.

“The Sox are just the other team,” said Sinhue Mendoza, a sophomore communication major. “Everybody likes the Cubs because they’re the better story, they have the better ballpark and the better everything.”

David Isom, a sophomore health and human sciences major, questioned such superficial opinions.

“From talking with them, I think they don’t know baseball,” he said. “You ask them why they like the Cubs and they say ‘I just do.’”

Two members of Pi Kappa Alpha disagreed on whom to root for, but did agree on one dimension of fan dynamics.

“Sox fans just seem to be a lot meaner than Cubs fans,” said Dan Bazigos, a sophomore financing major and Cubs fan.

Dean Coologeorgen, a sophomore criminology major and White Sox fan, offered a similar analysis:

“Sox fans are hard- [expletive deleted].”

Coologeorgen had originally turned down an interview request, perhaps proving his statement true.

One student wearing a Cubs hat actually mentioned that he was not a White Sox hater. However, he later admitted that he was from Michigan so I knocked off his hat and ran.

Joseph Grush, a psychology professor and associate dean in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences who has an exceptionally long job title, said he would help out with this report but there were two problems: One, he’s not a sports psychologist and two, he is a die-hard Cardinals fan.

Jan Rintala, a kinesiology professor, teaches a course in sports sociology and was more than willing to offer her professional opinion on why Cubs fans and Sox fans are the way they are.

“Being a fan serves a need people have for belonging and social identity and it provides a perceived socially acceptable outlet for aggressive feelings,” Rintala said. “The rivalry is hyped by the media and is largely taught to people from their early days, depending if they were brought up in either a Cubs or White Sox household.”

Rintala said that when her twin nephews were born she wanted a holiday that she could celebrate with them that was unique.

She chose baseball’s opening day and said that each year she gives one of the nephews a Cubs item and the other a White Sox item.

The rivalry lives on.